Port Douglas grows in popularity as Superyacht home port
Port Douglas, 22nd March, 2017 – Port Douglas’ The Reef Marina continues to emerge as one of the challengers to the current set of more traditional superyacht destinations as the latest motor yacht Spirit makes the seaside town its home port.
Arriving last Thursday, Spirit can entertain up to 12 guests and boasts five staterooms.
Extra features include a spa, a large spacious sun deck designed for entertaining and state of the art AV equipment from top to bottom. It has a permanent crew of seven based in Port Douglas.
For captain Martin Debanks and his wife Jo, who is Spirit’s full-time cordon-bleu trained chef, it was “no hardship” choosing Port Douglas as its home port.
“We have lived in some of the most incredible places around the world, but the Tropical North has been home since the early 2000s.
“It was always our dream to bring a charter of this callibre to the East Coast of Australia and we were lucky enough to pick up Spirit in Montenegro last year,” he said.
Mr Debanks said they would concentrate on charters from the Whitsundays through to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
The Reef Marina general manager Rob Cruz said there were now six vessels permanently berthed at the marina, in addition to casual visiting superyachts, injecting an estimated $9600 - $12,000 per vessel, per day into the local economy, according to figures from Cummings Economics.
“We knew there was a lot of potential for growth, which is why the building of a superyacht hub at the The Reef Marina has been a key part of our $5 million refurbishment over the last three years.”
Mr Cruz said Port Douglas was a world class destination that had the very best to offer and believed its appeal would only increase once the Marina’s $100 million waterfront redevelopment was completed.
“Within 18 months of opening our superyacht berths, we now have the second highest number of permanent super yachts berthed at any Australian marina,” he said.
He said Port Douglas’ high end retail, five-star accommodation and world-class restaurants and bars, including Hemingways Brewery and Barbados, would also continue to attract this affluent market.
“Adding to this, is Port Douglas’ proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan, which are all booming superyacht destinations.”
Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef manager Joanne Drake said with ongoing security issues in the Mediterranean and overcrowding in the Caribbean, the Asia Pacific region was becoming the third destination for superyacht owners.
“We are a global destination, with the right climate, Asia right on our doorstep and we have the key infrastructure boats of this size require.
“We have three Lloyds ship yards, food providores, an international airport and the the Great Barrier Reef Marine College, which is a world class establishment that works in well with the industry offering a simulator for practical training and courses required for ongoing professional development,” she said.